It’s Time to (Santa) Suit Up…Already
by Isabel Greenfield
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Speak to a CTV Expert
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OTT, CTV, AVOD and SVOD… what do these all mean? Put your ad tech dictionary away. Whether or not you want to solidify your understanding, get a better grip on the media buying terminology, or have a massive case of FOMO – we’ve got you.
In this article about OTT advertising, we’ll cover the basic definition of OTT, the benefits of OTT ads, as well as how to get started and begin tracking results for this superior marketing channel. Towards the end, we’ll even cover some of our absolute favorite OTT examples. Let’s get started!
What does OTT stand for in advertising? OTT stands for “over-the-top,” and refers to access to TV content using an internet connection instead of traditional cable or satellite. Therefore, OTT advertising is the act of marketing to this internet-connected audience as they stream content.
This content isn’t limited to TV only, but on any device that runs on an internet connection:
OTT content is at its most optimum – from a branding and performance perspective – when viewed on TV in the comfort of your living room, but more about that later.
These terms are often used interchangeably in the industry and can refer to the same thing. But the main difference is, OTT streams content across all devices such as mobile and desktop, whereas Connected TV serves to TV screens.
For a more in-depth comparison of OTT and Connected TV, check out the blog post below.
OTT advertising, when served on television screens, works like any other direct response channel – except with the immersive experience unique only to television.
We delve into this further in the section below, but OTT advertising platforms like MNTN Performance TV (that serves exclusively on TV screens and not other devices) let brands set up audience targeting, measure who is viewing an advertisement, and then view how this stacks up against their other digital marketing efforts.
It also works cross-device, meaning that the platform tracks users visiting your brand’s website after viewing OTT ads and serves relevant display ads along their journey until they finally convert on your website.
MNTN Performance TV offers superior reporting capabilities which track ad-side metrics like ad completion and website visits, as well as the popular measures of ROI including ROAS, CPV, and conversion rate. These benchmarks are a critical component for measuring the success of your OTT campaign.
OTT advertising is a game-changer when run exclusively on TV screens, as it is a performance channel in every meaning of the word. It bridges the gap from being a pure branding exercise (on Linear TV) to one that can also be measured and tracked.
Some of these marketing platforms pride themselves on their data-driven approach, while others claim to be at the forefront of precision targeting. MNTN addresses all of the concerns a performance marketer may have, packaged in a single user interface.
The primary benefits of OTT advertising include the following.
Three words: Living Room Quality (LRQ).
We acknowledge that OTT isn’t only limited to TV, but across other internet-connected devices as well. However, LRQ serves ads exclusively on TV devices as we know that this device is superior to other devices in terms of ad experience. If you’re working with an ad platform that serves OTT ads across other devices, you’re missing out on the true benefits of this ad channel.
Inventory that isn’t served on TV screens isn’t true OTT advertising, and when marketers spend their budget on it they’re not getting their money’s worth. MNTN Living Room Quality serves 15 or 30-second non-skippable ads to deliver a premium ad experience.
Serving any advertisement on low-quality inventory dilutes the impact of even the most compelling of advertisements – and is a huge waste of marketing dollars. A sweeping majority of advertisers agree that this is a huge concern of any brand, too:
We’ve selected only premium TV networks that we know are aligned to your brand, and your audience and specifically hand-picked to drive performance. These are 125+ reliable networks that we’ve all grown to know and love, like CNN, CNBC, Food Network, and more.
Where over-the-top advertising shines is in its reporting and targeting capabilities.
MNTN Performance TV partners with the leading data provider, the Oracle Data Cloud, giving advertisers access to over 40,000 third-party audience segments. You can also use first-party data from your own website visitors and reach them with retargeting ads on their other devices and OTT.
View the reports and analytics for these as they happen in real-time on our reporting dashboard – better yet, see how these perform in relation to your other digital marketing efforts through our integration with Google Analytics to get a holistic view of your campaign.
These are some of the (many) metrics OTT advertising platforms like MNTN can track:
These metrics can all be viewed on our reporting interface, and in any permutation to show those metrics that matter most to your brand.
We created an entire content series dedicated to this very topic, comparing the effectiveness of OTT advertising to well-known players in the programmatic space like YouTube, Demand Side Platforms (DSP), Linear TV, Display-Only, and Video Ads.
Apart from the inventory, tracking, measurement, and overall experience benefits – attribution is a priority for performance marketers and they should be wary of how this is measured on other OTT ad platforms.
A legitimate performance marketing channel should be as transparent as possible, and MNTN Performance TV addresses this need through its accurate attribution capabilities via its proprietary Cross-Device Verified Visits feature.
Cross-Device Verified Visits is our proprietary technology that measures any user visits to your site following the guaranteed in-view display of your ads, in a window of time defined by you. That means you’ll know when someone views your OTT ad to completion, and what device they use to convert. And since it only takes credit if the original ad was viewed to completion, it ensures it was your ad that initially prompted the sales journey.
We don’t call ourselves a performance marketing platform for nothing. We’ve run the numbers across the board and are proud to report some solid averages. Note that OTT campaign results vary and may be impacted by budget, type of industry, and time of year.
Sure! Here are a couple of case studies that we’d like to highlight:
Nope, OTT marketing is entirely vertical agnostic and benefits many categories. We have worked with global movie studios looking to drive brand awareness for their latest releases, through to retailers and F&B (food and beverage) brands. Any brand with a website or online presence to drive traffic is a suitable candidate.
Nowadays, the majority of consumers (48%) go ‘straight to the source’ and buy direct from brands. This, combined with the fact that 75% of households now own an OTT device, is a compelling case for OTT advertising.
These consumers are digital natives at heart and are used to consuming information (and purchasing) cross-device, which is one of the reasons why so many advertisers show interest in it as a marketing channel.
As long as you have your ads created within the right specifications, then you’re ready to launch your OTT campaign in four simple steps:
OTT ads can be bought in two ways:
If you’re looking for a combination of flexibility and value without having to sacrifice (or worry about) where your content will end up, programmatic media buying is a wise choice.
Streaming TV advertising on OTT platforms is a great way to reach an audience migrating away from traditional linear television in a more cost-effective manner. Traditional TV advertising requires a large upfront commitment which significantly limits the number of businesses participating.
On the other hand, OTT ads can be purchased on a month-to-month basis, giving users the freedom to spread out ad dollars across multiple campaigns seeking different outcomes.
In addition, your dollars will go much farther on OTT, compared to cable TV advertising, when it comes to reaching specific audiences. With targeting options and conversion tracking that go far beyond the simplicity of linear, it’s easy to see why performance marketers are shifting their ad spend to Connected TV.
There are plenty of great examples of OTT ads that companies use for demand generation and lead generation campaigns. Take a look at a few of our favorites!
The first OTT example is from MNTN and features our Chief Creative Officer, Ryan Reynolds. Yeah, we’re a little biased, but that’s because we use our own OTT advertising platform to promote our business—because it works. Check it out!
Rumpl decided to give OTT advertising a whirl with this fantastic commercial pitching their super fashionable and super warm blanket created from recycled materials. It’s a great advertisement that immediately pulls you in and speaks directly to the soul of the adventure-bound traveler.
A+ for the creativity on this one. As soon as you hear Sarah McLachlan’s voice, you instantly think of the traditional somber ASPCA ads she’s usually featured in. Only this time, it’s a complete misdirect as she’s actually pitching Bolt, a one-click checkout solution to reduce the number of abandoned carts for eCommerce businesses. The OTT creative is both hilarious and very memorable!
For lovers of fancy and elegant dining table decor, Replacements is for you. This OTT example sticks to a tried and true formula of explaining a common problem, providing a solution, pitching the value proposition, and doing so in under 30 seconds. Short and sweet, just how viewers like it.
What the heck, let’s do another example with Ryan Reynolds. You have to admit, he’s a pretty fun guy. This OTT ad features 1Password, an advanced cybersecurity password manager to keep all your digital data safe. It’s another funny and memorable video creative that gets right to the point.
As you can imagine, we’ve only scratched the surface here, and our team is ready to answer any further questions you may have about OTT marketing and the benefits of OTT advertising platforms like MNTN Performance TV.
If there’s something you’d like to clarify further, or if there are any challenges you’re facing in your current digital campaign strategy, we’re here to help. Start by signing up for our CTV/OTT report below!
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